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Painting of American clipper ship STAGHOUND

Date: 19th century
Dimensions:
Overall (frame): 423 x 574 x 25 mm
Overall (sight): 370 x 523 mm
Medium: Watercolour on paper, framed, glazed
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Art
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00050683

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    Description
    Designed and built by Donald McKay at East Boston, the STAG HOUND model was unique. The entrance and clearance lines were very long and sharp, slightly convex. The "Boston Atlas" of 1851 described STAG HOUND as follows: "Her model may be said to be the original of a new idea in naval architecture ... She is longer and sharper than any other vessel of the merchant service in the world, while her breadth of beam and depth of hold are designed with special reference to stability."

    STAG HOUND was built to carry 1,600 registered tons burden, several hundred tons of freight capacity greater than any other vessel then being built for the California trade. Almost all of the manufactured goods consumed in the California gold fields had to be carried from the United States East Coast.


    SignificanceThe STAG HOUND was the only true extreme clipper built by Donald McKay. He built many other clippers for speed, but after STAG HOUND McKay changed his hull design concept. Many of his other ships are loosely called 'extreme' clippers, but no other clipper hulls were to have the 40" dead rise from half floor that this ship had. This vessel relates to the trade and commerce conducted during the Californian and Australian gold rushes.
    HistoryThe STAG HOUND was launched on December 7, 1850 in East Boston, Massachusetts. Designed by shipbuilder Donald McKay for the California trade, this vessel was briefly the largest merchant ship in the world. The clipper was in active service from 1851 until its total loss in 1861.

    The STAG HOUND was to be the only true extreme clipper built by Donald McKay. He built many other clippers for speed, but no other clipper hulls were to have the 40" dead rise from half floor that this ship was to have. Many of his other ships are loosely called 'extreme' clippers, but after STAG HOUND McKay changed his hull design concept; his yard focused on flat-floored medium clippers masted and sparred for speed up to, and even equal to, an extreme clipper hull.


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